Monday, January 30, 2012

Memories of the Adirondacks

It is amazing to me where the inspiration for my blog posts come from. When I was encouraged to start a blog three years ago, the first thought that came to mind was, “How can I come up with enough material to keep it going long term?”

At work, one day last week, I was walking down the hall, my mind racing on several projects I am juggling at the moment. When I’m in this kind of mindset, I rarely notice the people around me. The hall was crowded with people since I was in an area where the general public, as well as employees, can be found.

There was Leslie walking toward me. I met Leslie several years ago when I was working in the Cancer Center at work. Since then, she and I both have moved on to other jobs within the Medical Center. She started waving both arms at me like she really wanted to get my attention.

Leslie is active in her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She wanted to ask about possibilities for a weekend or a several day trip this summer to the Adirondacks the troop could plan.

Although this brought back a flood of fond memories of times spent in the Adirondacks, in all seasons, over the past 30 or more years, it was difficult for me at that moment to spout out specific ideas they might consider. “Tell you what,” I began, “let me think about this. I’m sure I can come up with a lot of ideas.”

Where do I begin? I have hiked hundreds of miles on trails in the Adirondacks in summer, fall and winter. I have climbed 17 of the 36 High Peaks (peaks over 5000 feet high), many of them several times in both winter and summer. I have paddled countless miles there. I have been on the Jack Rabbit Trail on cross country skis more than a few times, a delightful all day trip. I have backpacked the entire Northville-Placid Trail. I came within 10 feet of a first year bear cub while sitting around a campfire at Rollins Pond Campground. One night in a leanto, a mouse ran across my face and my backpacking companions on that trip tried to convince me I was dreaming. I have been awed by the spectacular scenery in the Adirondacks and overjoyed with the many, many good times I have spent there. I had a lot of fun days at the Adirondack Loj, owned and operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club. Then there is the Mountain Meadows B&B in Keane Valley, another great place holding a lot of memories for me.

So how do I begin to funnel all this into a list of activities these Girl Scouts would enjoy on no more than a 2 or 3 day trip there? In a series of e-mails to Leslie over the weekend, I named several spots and activities that the girls might enjoy. When I was done, I said a prayer that at least some of these young women would some day come to love and appreciate the Adirondacks as much as I do.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter, so far

With just two more days left in January 2012, we are having a very mild winter this year. I never thought I would be able to say, this far into January, that the grass is still green!

This is not to say we haven't had very cold weather, because we have. Just almost no snow. This doesn't matter to the ski resorts. All they need is the right temperature and they can "make" snow.

The most snow we have had at any one time this season is no more than 4 inches. . . enough to be pretty but not enough to be a nuisance!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not a good start to the day

Today was time for my every-three-months-trek to have blood drawn. I look forward to this day like I'd look forward to being before a firing squad.

To deprive me of my coffee in the morning is cruel and unusual punishment. I am not alert. I am irritable. I want to punch anyone in the face that even looks at me.

Driving the short distance to the lab, I found myself driving in the middle of the road and then almost missed stopping for a red light.

Sitting in the waiting room listening to the other patients bemoaning the fact that they couldn't have their coffee this morning just added to my anguish.

"Can you spell your first and last name, please?" 'LADY, can't you see it is printed right there on the paper I just gave you???' "And what is your date of birth?" 'LADY, you better stop this nonsense NOW!'

But now I'm home and on my first cup of coffee and the world looks a lot nicer to me. And the best part, I don't have to go through this craziness again for three whole months.

Post Script. . . My boss at work is the same way! He told me on my first day in that job that he is not a morning person and to please refrain from talking to him till he has finished his coffee! After his second cup of coffee, he is fine!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Have trouble posting comments to my blog?

Several people have told me they had trouble posting comments to my blog. Can't have that! A friend, who doesn't have a blog or a google account, told me quite awhile ago that she tried to post a comment and it didn't work. I LOVE comments. . . reasonable comments!

I think I have resolved the problem. I changed some of my settings.

So try again. And thanks to Brigid over at Home on the Range (find her link in my blogs list on the right side of my page) for helping me resolve this issue.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


"Kodak Files for Bankruptcy" That was the headline in today's paper. There was a time when the idea of Kodak going into bankruptcy was simply inconceivable. Kodak was the largest employer in Rochester. Generations of families worked at Kodak.

The word Kodak has been a part of my vocabulary from my earliest childhood. When I was about 7 years old, Santa Claus brought me a Brownie camera for Christmas. I was thrilled when I learned to put the spool of film in one end and wrap it around the spool at the other end, close it up and snap pictures.

Growing up in Pensacola, Florida, I never imagined that one day I would marry a Kodak employee and make Rochester, NY my home and raise my children here.

Sadly, today the whole world learned the news that many of us saw coming for a number of years now. Poor management decisions over the years brought Kodak to its downfall.

Kodak was started in George Eastman's mother's kitchen. He experimented with a new idea for making images and eventually opened the company. Where did the name "Kodak" come from? The letter K was the first letter of his mother's maiden name. He wanted a word for the company that was easily pronounced in all languages.

As the company grew, Eastman became a very wealthy man. His mansion on East Avenue is now a museum of photography and a popular tourist destination.

There is much of the Kodak legacy that will endure forever. There is the University of Rochester, the Eastman Theater that is home to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastman School of Music, to name just a few institutions that benefited from George Eastman's benevolence.

I hope that Kodak will survive this bankruptcy and somehow return to a vibrant, strong company again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quote for the Day

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bama Nation is all over!

A friend, Leslie, posted this on facebook just for me! This picture was taken in Rochester, NY showing I'm not the only Crimson Tide fan up North!

Monday, January 9, 2012

This is winter?

Amazing. The calendar says it is January 9, 2012. Yet so far this year, Rochester has had less than two inches of snow! The stores are well stocked with snow shovels and snow blowers but they are gathering dust!

We have had very cold weather, just no snow. The ski areas can make snow as long as the temperature cooperates, and it has.

By this time in most years, Rochester has had at least a couple of major storms. This year may go down in the record books as the mildest winter on record if things don't change. Oh, but this is Rochester and you know what they say, "If you don't like the weather in Rochester, stick around. It will change."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A new year

2011 had a lot of pot holes (make that sink holes) in the road of life for me, but it ended on a high note. I am in a job that I like and those I work for value me.

I am optimistic for 2012, both for myself and for our country.

Life is what you make it. Even when life throws rotten eggs your way, you can find things to be thankful for. For me, it was friends, my health, my home, Molly, my loveable black Lab, and my tenacity in walking through storms.

Our annual cousins reunion is coming up in April. That is something I look forward to all year. I enjoy the drive down and back, watching Spring come alive, since often, on that trip, I leave Rochester with snow and ice on the ground! Seeing dogwood trees blooming in woods along the way is a promise that warm weather will always follow the harsh New York winter. Stopping along the way and hearing that distinct Southern accent among the locals takes me back to my childhood when life was much slower paced than it is now. And laughing when someone eyes my license plate and says, “You a Yankee, huh?” Then there was the time I stopped at a rest area in Alabama and was asked by an elderly gentleman, "What's a Yankee woman doin' way down he-uh all by huhself?"

With Spring and Summer come bike rides, canoe camping trips, local paddling, and cooking outside on my grill. Actually, with the mild winter we are having so far, I just may get in a few grilled steaks between now and Spring!

Life is good!